Cool and cloudy, with scattered rain and highs around 70. Same story tomorrow.
After the most violent month in Baltimore in over 40 years, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is pointing to the limited success of the Safe Streets program as a glimmer of hope.Safe Streets, which uses ex-felons to facilitate non-violent conflict resolution, doesn’t involve Baltimore Police – dodging the strained relationships between the community and officers. But the program is limited to only 4 neighborhoods, and while it has seen success in limiting gun violence, the program has struggled with mediators with ties to gangs and the drug trade. There are no concrete plans yet to scale Safe Streets up.
Baltimore’s city council has a few other ideas to address the current situation, including bringing back the “Officer Friendly” program to improve relations between police and students, and fast-tracking body cameras and cameras in BPD vehicles (the current ‘pilot’ program is expected to kick off with a small group of officers at the end of the year.
Baltimore’s city council also released a report dissecting Baltimore’s failed speed camera program. The system, shut off since April 2013, issued many tickets in error (some cameras had more than 10% bogus tickets), rubber-stamped by Baltimore Police officers expected to review 1000+ citations a shift. The cameras were expected to bring in millions in revenue to the city – with the mayor’s budget expecting a revived program hauling in $2.5 million next year.
A new report reveals Maryland as one of the most expensive states to rent a home. The National Low Income Housing Coalition research put MD as the 7th most expensive state, with a fair-market average for a 2-bedroom apartment at $1281 statewide.